Meze EMPYREAN - the First Isodynamic Hybrid Array Headphone
Dec 17, 2018 at 1:42 AM Post #1,831 of 11,890

franz12

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Thanks for your impressions. Which DAC/headamp did you use?

I disagree with you on that LCD-4Z plays at a higher level than the Empyrean. I agree though, that the tonality of the Empyrean with velour pads differs from the LCD-4Z. If you find vocals on Empyrean recessed, try the leather pads. Moreover, there is absolutely no brightness in the treble with the leather pads.

A better gear was occupied when I demoed. So I hooked them up to Questyle 400i.
I was tempted to try the leather pads, but I noticed some folks seemed to wait for Empyrean as well, so I gave up on that idea.
I did not think that Empyrean was bright, though I thought slight roughness was there in upper mids/lower treble.
 
Dec 17, 2018 at 8:15 AM Post #1,832 of 11,890

koenoe

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My second replacement just arrived and this one is beyond perfect. I'm very happy.
Balanced cable looks beautiful too. Can't wait to have a few long listening sessions the upcoming holidays!
Credits to Mircea and Meze Audio for being understanding and flexible (delivery was carefully planned between two business trips, so I'd receive it before Christmas).

Serial number: 370
Inspected on: 12/12/2018

Awesome :)

Edit: I thought it was just me, but the frame looks slightly darker (which I like actually), so I asked Mircea about it and it seems I'm right:
The new batch of frames have a very slightly darker shade due to the fact that we increased the anodizing time and the depth from 0.008-0.012mm to 0.012-0.016mm. Although everything else was kept the same, the longer exposure time to the chemical reaction caused a very slight difference in shade. I personally prefer it and we think it's well worth the change due to the stronger finish surface that results.
 
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Dec 17, 2018 at 8:29 AM Post #1,833 of 11,890

Fernando Goñi

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My second replacement just arrived and this one is beyond perfect. I'm very happy.
Balanced cable looks beautiful too. Can't wait to have a few long listening sessions the upcoming holidays!
Credits to Mircea and Meze Audio for being understanding and flexible (delivery was carefully planned between two business trips, so I'd receive it before Christmas).

Serial number: 370
Inspected on: 12/12/2018

Awesome :)

Edit: I thought it was just me, but the frame looked slightly darker (which I like actually), so I asked Mircea about it and it seems I'm right:
Where did you get the S/N and the inspection date? Mine just arrived (it's flawless BTW) and I haven't seen this info inside the suitcase.
 
Dec 17, 2018 at 8:29 AM Post #1,834 of 11,890

jmills8

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My second replacement just arrived and this one is beyond perfect. I'm very happy.
Balanced cable looks beautiful too. Can't wait to have a few long listening sessions the upcoming holidays!
Credits to Mircea and Meze Audio for being understanding and flexible (delivery was carefully planned between two business trips, so I'd receive it before Christmas).

Serial number: 370
Inspected on: 12/12/2018

Awesome :)

Edit: I thought it was just me, but the frame looked slightly darker (which I like actually), so I asked Mircea about it and it seems I'm right:
Does it sound better ?
 
Dec 17, 2018 at 8:31 AM Post #1,835 of 11,890

koenoe

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Where did you get the S/N and the inspection date? Mine just arrived (it's flawless BTW) and I haven't seen this info inside the suitcase.
It's on the back of the card.

Does it sound better ?
I don't know, I guess not, but I posted here literally 5 mins after I received them.
 
Dec 17, 2018 at 9:50 AM Post #1,836 of 11,890

Fernando Goñi

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It's on the back of the card.


I don't know, I guess not, but I posted here literally 5 mins after I received them.
Where is the card, inside the suitcase?
 
Dec 17, 2018 at 10:18 AM Post #1,837 of 11,890

PeteSTRADAMUS

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If you don't mind my asking, what didn't you like? Not engaging...too much/too little of a certain frequency? Either way, after hearing Empyrean, I'm honestly not sure how much higher you can go....looking forward to your impressions.
Something with vocals mainly female hurt my ears and completely ruined the listening experience. I never got that with the Utopia, it was always smooth up top.
 
Dec 17, 2018 at 11:59 AM Post #1,838 of 11,890

XERO1

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I haven't heard the Empyrean yet, but i had the 4Z for about 1 week and couldn't wait to get my Utopia back. I wasn't a fan.
Same here. Which is a shame, because the LCD-4/4z gets a lot right but it has this slight recess in the upper mids/ lower treble range that just kept bugging me once I noticed it. I actually prefer the LCD-X over any of the more expensive Audezes.

And this is a textbook example that two headphones from the same manufacturer, that have nearly identical FR curves can sound noticeably different (at least to my ears). :thinking:
 
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Dec 17, 2018 at 2:31 PM Post #1,840 of 11,890

hyoboy24

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Meze Empyrean.jpg

Currently have slightly over 150 hours on the Empyrean with leather pads, leaving it till about 300 hours before any critical listening. I would say that this headphone has one of the biggest burn-in progressions that I have ever heard.

From 30 - 50 hours, I thought I had a problem with the headphones as well. Sound was closed in, sounded veiled and bass was quite boomy.

Things got a bit better at the 80 hour mark, sound was slightly clearer, less sibilant, but bass was boomy and highs were strident. Female vocals sounded quite harsh and vocals were presented in a very forward manner. I thought I was listening to the velour pads then instead of the leather pads. The sound was that muddy.

At 100 - 120 hours, the veil over the sound seemed lifted, but the mid-bass seemed to have disappeared as well. Vocals still had a tinge of harshness to it around the edges as well as the highs.

At 150 hours, the veil has totally lifted, vocals and highs are quite smooth and a pleasure to listen to, mid-bass is back but never boomy, with just the right amount of slam to it, the soundstage is much more holographic now, vocals and instruments are not presented in a forward manner but take their own place on the soundstage, soundstage has slightly widened with good instrument separation, height slightly increased as well.

I have the Audeze LCD3-F and Hifiman HE-1000 v1 as well, I would say the Empyrean sound signature is somewhere in between these two, it takes the best qualities of both headphones and this makes it a really fun headphone to listen to. These are now the headphones that it is truly deserving of being a flagship headphones.

I also spent some time at my local audio store to compare the ZMF Verite in Silkwood and Empyrean with velour pads. I would say the Verite sound has more body to it, but sounds much darker than the Empyrean. Transients and dynamics are better and quicker on the Verite, but the Empyrean resolves slightly more detail than the Verite. I went for the Empyrean in the end because well, everything about it just sounds right. :p

Hope this helps :)
 
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Dec 17, 2018 at 3:48 PM Post #1,841 of 11,890

xxx1313

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A better gear was occupied when I demoed. So I hooked them up to Questyle 400i.
I was tempted to try the leather pads, but I noticed some folks seemed to wait for Empyrean as well, so I gave up on that idea.
I did not think that Empyrean was bright, though I thought slight roughness was there in upper mids/lower treble.

Hmm, thanks. If you get the chance, try the leather pads. Their tonality is closer to the LCD-4z imo, but vocals are more present with the Empyrean, without being harsh or rough. In my opinion, the Empyrean is the better headphone, but tastes differ and synergy with the equipment can play an important role too with flagship headphones.

I have the Audeze LCD3-F and Hifiman HE-1000 v1 as well, I would say the Empyrean sound signature is somewhere in between these two, it takes the best qualities of both headphones and this makes it a really fun headphone to listen to. These are now the headphones that it is truly deserving of being a flagship headphones.

I also owned these two headphones once, so only from memory, I would say that you nailed it!
 
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Dec 17, 2018 at 4:55 PM Post #1,842 of 11,890

marhol

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Thank you all for your impressions ! I´m glad you like these new headphones. I havent heard these headphones yet but the manufacturer and his company is to my liking. From what I read (impressions) and saw (photos) about Empyrean it really shows these people put a lot of heart to make something special for our community. Sound quality, ergonomics, build quality, efficiency or customer friendliness - everything has it place here. And that´s great.
I would like to ask people who currently have or have heard Emyprean - is there something similar from HD650 /HD 600 in their sound signature ? Does anyone see Empyrean as something like super HD600 or HD650 ? A (sort of) cross between LCD-3 and HEK v1 sounds interesting as well. Thanks. Hopefully I will have a chance to listen Empyrean in near future...
 
Dec 17, 2018 at 5:02 PM Post #1,843 of 11,890

jinxy245

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Something with vocals mainly female hurt my ears and completely ruined the listening experience. I never got that with the Utopia, it was always smooth up top.
I'll preface this by saying I don't know how close to the final tuning the Empyrean I heard was, but I'm fairly sensitive to mids more than treble overall, the pair I heard had no 'shouty' to it quality at all.

Of course it was unfamiliar set up etc. so chain may very well make a difference, but the mids were smooth and detailed...a perfect blend for my tastes.

Again, looking forward to your impressions.
 
Dec 17, 2018 at 6:05 PM Post #1,844 of 11,890

Pharmaboy

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Thank you all for your impressions ! I´m glad you like these new headphones. I havent heard these headphones yet but the manufacturer and his company is to my liking. From what I read (impressions) and saw (photos) about Empyrean it really shows these people put a lot of heart to make something special for our community. Sound quality, ergonomics, build quality, efficiency or customer friendliness - everything has it place here. And that´s great.
I would like to ask people who currently have or have heard Emyprean - is there something similar from HD650 /HD 600 in their sound signature ? Does anyone see Empyrean as something like super HD600 or HD650 ? A (sort of) cross between LCD-3 and HEK v1 sounds interesting as well. Thanks. Hopefully I will have a chance to listen Empyrean in near future...

I love the sound of the HD650. Earlier this year reviewed an extensive mod of one (Jupiter Audio Research "J-Mod") vs stock, and really liked both of them. Sonically, the HD650 is a winner for me.

As was the Empyrean I heard at CanJam in February. No idea if the tuning is different now; also, the only pad option at the time was comfy/deep leather. Going by memory, there actually is a rough parallel between the voicing of the HD650 & Empyrean: they're both slightly warm, with a spacious/detailed (but not bright) midrange & a natural weight in the lower registers. However, the differences are quite significant:
  • Driver: IMO the biggest sonic difference stems from the Empyrean being a cutting-edge planar vs HD650 being a high impedance dynamic. I've always found that planars sound unique/different because the bass is dense & strong (whether elevated or not) and all notes over the entire FR range start & stop so quickly. Planars have an explosive quality that I'm addicted to...
  • Comfort/design: The HD650 is moderately comfortable & easy to look at--but the Empyrean is perhaps the most beautiful & aesthetically/artistically grounded design in all of headphones (it's also extremely comfortable). So it's not a fair fight...
  • Soundstaging: Very different...the HD650 has a pleasing soundstage: focused, intimate, informative, easy to like. The Empyrean struck me as having a far larger/wider/deeper soundstage. Soundstage, like everything else about the Empyrean, veers into endgame territory.
One is ~10X the price of the other, but both headphones are absolutely worth having if you appreciate highly musical, organic, smooth headphone audio.
 
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Dec 17, 2018 at 8:25 PM Post #1,845 of 11,890

Deftone

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Currently have slightly over 150 hours on the Empyrean with leather pads, leaving it till about 300 hours before any critical listening. I would say that this headphone has one of the biggest burn-in progressions that I have ever heard.

From 30 - 50 hours, I thought I had a problem with the headphones as well. Sound was closed in, sounded veiled and bass was quite boomy.

At 150 hours, the veil has totally lifted, vocals and highs are quite smooth and a pleasure to listen to, mid-bass is back but never boomy, with just the right amount of slam to it, the soundstage is much more holographic now, vocals and instruments are not presented in a forward manner but take their own place on the soundstage, soundstage has slightly widened with good instrument separation, height slightly increased as well.

Oh I think its the HD650 all over again, get ready for 500 hours burn in fellas. :wink:
 

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